As part of The Year of Color, 2020’s yearlong exploration of creativity through color, we are delving more deeply into one of our inspirations, Lidewij – or Li – Edelkoort, one of the world’s most trusted trend forecasters. She has worked for a wide array of companies, from Coca-Cola, to Nissan, to Prada, Disney, Shiseido, and Gap. She has even been asked by banks, insurance agencies, and real estate developers to explain lifestyle trends that show how people will live in the future. Several years ago Li wrote an Anti-Fashion Manifesto that details how she views the fashion industry as broken, and how it can catch up to today’s reality and again become an agent of change. Li co-founded Talking Textiles with Philip Fimmano, which curates events and creates trend books two or more years ahead of time; those books are used by international clients from fields like fashion, textiles, interiors, cars, cosmetics, and even food. Their magazines like Bloom and Talking Textiles have become events and a must read Cultural Thread as part of Trend Tablet (you can also subscribe to their newsletter).

Image source (left): Trend Tablet: Handmade: Cultures Indigo
Photographer credit (right): Thirza Schaap on location at Singita Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Natalie met Li in the early 2000s, when she was creating a collaborative collection with art and design conceptual artists, Studio Job. Li joined the designers to view the (then Project Alabama) collection in Paris’ Hotel Crillon, where they, according to Natalie, “had a long chat, drank, wine, and laughed a lot.” They’ve been friends since that fateful evening. Li and Philip consequently invited Natalie to speak at one of their presentations at her forecasting company, Trend Union, and they later included the work of Alabama Chanin in The World of Folk exhibition in Norway. In the years following, Natalie has been lucky enough to attend many of her seasonal presentations, which always prove to be thought-provoking and inspiring.

A close up of a chair

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Our first focused color palette of 2020 is inspired in part by one of her activewear seminars. (When you find inspiration from one of the world’s most respected trend forecasters, you run with it.) Natalie shared that the fabric colors are influenced by life of dark indigo-dyed selvedge denim—from loom to washed saturation (Navy and Peacock), combined with crisp white lines (100% Organic Cotton Jersey and Embroidery Floss), copper-colored rivets (Camel and Ballet), gold-toned stitches (Gold Embroidery Floss), and new leather (Brown Embroidery Floss).

To realize that vision, The School of Making offers fabric, thread, and embroidery floss options in the first installation of the 20 in ’20 Color Palette Bundle. Utilize these fabrics and notions with our pattern library to create your next garment or project. Further inspired by our year of color are Organic Cotton Swatches for in-depth color explorations. These 5” x 5” fabrics help better envision and plan your sewing projects before starting on your bundled fabrics. Our precut and stenciled Sample Swatches allow you to practice your embroideries and add completed designs to your own home studio textile library.

Read more on our history with Li here, and look forward to more color stories and inspiration to come.

Share your projects using the hashtag #TSOM20in20 in The School of Making Stitchalong group on Facebook and don’t forget to tag #theschoolofmaking and #TSOM20in20 on Instagram.

Lead image credits from top left: Acne Studios (1 and 2), Anton Grebentsov (5), and imogene + willie (3, 4, and 6).

Find (and follow for more inspiration) on Instagram: Acne Studios, Anton Grebentsov, imogene+willie, Trend Tablet, and Thirza Schaap.


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